Forex – Dollar extends gains as North Korea, Irma fears ease


© Reuters. Dollar extends gains as North Korea, Irma fears ease – The dollar extended gains against a basket of the other major currencies on Monday, pulling away from its lowest levels in more than two years as tensions over North Korea eased and Hurricane Irma weakened.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.33% at 91.61 by 08:39 AM ET (12:39 GMT). The index hit a low of 90.99 on Friday, the lowest level since January 2015.

The dollar pushed higher against the safe haven yen, with USD/JPY rising 0.84% to 108.73, rebounding from Friday’s 10-month low of 107.30 after North Korea refrained from an expected missile test at the weekend.

The dollar was also higher against the Swiss franc, which is often sought in times of market turbulence, with USD/CHF advancing 0.78% to 0.9514.

Markets remained watchful ahead of a United Nations Security Council vote on harsher sanctions against Pyongyang later Monday, after its recent nuclear test.

Market sentiment also received a boost after Hurricane Irma struck the U.S. with less force than had been feared.

Investors remained cautious over the possible economic impact of the storm, which knocked out electricity to around 4 million homes and businesses in Florida.

The euro was lower, with EUR/USD down 0.4% to 1.1987, off Friday’s two-and-a-half year highs of 1.2092.

The euro slipped after European Central Bank Executive Board member Benoit Coeure said that improved euro zone growth can offset some of the negative effects of the euro’s strength, but added that a persistent exchange rate shock could drag down inflation.

The dollar was lower against the Canadian dollar, with USD/CAD down 0.35% at 1.2119.

Demand for the loonie continued to be underpinned after Canada’s central bank hiked interest rates for the second time in three months last week.

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